Thursday, March 7, 2024

The Sea Caves of Aubergiole

I found this file on my hard-drive a few days ago, and since I will never ever finish the project (and in fact I don't recall many of the ideas) I give it to the internet in goodwill. To each, as they say, according to their need. This was probably right after the publication of my solo gamebook. I think it's very clearly inspired by the D&D Expert module "Lathan's Gold" which was an epic "sailing around adventuring" solo module. Grand in scope and procedural possibility but sort of tangled up with weird mass combat mechanisms. Pretty sure it was conceived right around the heyday of the Google+ share-and-share alike era. I kinda dig the vibe, but the only thing that stands out to me particularly is the random starting entry mechanic, which is based in part on your Luck modifier (this is DCC obviously). I think I was also inspired by "Barbarian Prince" which is a long-time favorite of mine, and still available for free.

Also, I think I stole the Secrets idea from Kabuki Kaiser's "Mad Monks of Kwantoom" in which certain play experiences would prompt you to read appendices at the back of the gamebook and thus open up new ways to play, spells, PC races and options, and lore about the world of the game...

Way too ambitious in scope, in reflection. This was back when I thought fun ideas about tabletop RPGs, or at least read other peoples' fun ideas and synthesized things into something of my own. Now, I just play Skyrim with like 500 mods...

"Sea Caves initial entries the City".rtf

Oubliette of the Fishfolk


1.       Aubergiole - Innsmouth Equivalent from French Inn (‘Auberge’) and Maw (‘Gueule’).  Market, Docks, Tavern, Supplies,

2.       Visulax – Specularum Equivalent: Docks, Market, Tavern

3.       Aredeth Bay – Pirate Port

4.       Helleborine – Coastal Megalopolis (off limits due to Zombie Plague)

5.       Marbourg – Seaside Town, nearby River (off limits due to Zombie Plague)



1.       Three Harpies Key – Gate to Lightless Realms, Other Universes

2.       Meridot’s Cay- The Wizard Meridot’s Tower

3.       Hyomand Rock – The Oubliette of the Fishmen

4.       Forlorn Island – Giant Monsters, Occasional Big Treasures, Death for Big Parties

5.       Hammer Island (Home to Aredeth Bay) – Small Town, Pirate Wizard Patron

6.       Bloodrock Plinth – Empty, Granite and Basalt, Gribb Roosts

7.       The Island of the Amazonians (Mountain Range)


1.       Sail upriver to near Halthrag Keep, attacked by Jackal Bandits

2.       The Howling Whirlpool of Awfulness, ship destroyed, flotsam!

3.       Jungle of Teth

4.       The Crystalline Spire of Meridot

Remember to give lots of opportunities for Luck Use, Saves, and Especially Thief Skill Checks

Random Non-Thief Character Starts

(for the start of the game, use 1d12 plus the Luck Modifier.  Pre-generated Characters Will Start at Specific Entries in the Book)








INNSMOUTH TAINT: Thank the Gods it is morning, now.  You find yourself at the edge of a long and lonely dock in the city of Aubergiole, neck, hands and feet itching.  Your eyes are watering and your head hurts.  You have fought the overpowering urge to jump into the water and swim away since being awoken around 2 bells, after strange dreams of vast cities through which you floated.  As the sun rises, you feel somewhat better and resolve to take some aid to help you sleep, tonight.  A skilled thief like you can’t operate well when fighting urges like these!

Looking down at the end of the barnacle-encrusted dock, you notice an Intricately Carved Tetrahedron, possibly a fishing weight or lure.  You may take it if you like.  Then, turn to DOCKS




ISLAND (Lonely)



ISLAND (Random)








In town, down on your Luck (-2 Luck), Gambling debt



On a Mission – Recover a Captive (Randomly Determined – Attached to Secrets!)






On a Pilgrimage – See a Sight



Hunting Party – Fight a Monster



Cartographer for a Lord – Visit 4 different islands and map 3 locations of each (cities do not count!)



Free Agent – No particular Quest, 350 GP in Savings



SECRET AGENT! , Minor Sum of Gold for Expenses 1000XP, Kill the Bandit King
















Straight Thieves Begin in a Spot Determined by their Alignment, and Receive a Mission Based upon it, if they like.  Else, they can use the Random Chart and adjust the result depending upon





Hyomand Rock, Shoreline

Acquire The Prayers of Hydra Volume 4, Deliver to Boss in Aubergiole (or take the 4th Oath!)


Aredeth Bay, Pirate Port

Ring the Storm Bell at the Top of Hyomand Rock, Watch What Happens (Or Destroy It, Better!)


Hyomand Rock, Acolyte’s Chamber

Assassinate the Priestess of Hydra, She Keeps the Undersea Peoples In Check (Or Assume the Priesthood Yourself, with 4th Oath and the Rod of Command)



A.      Random Aubergiole House/Basements/Treasures/Monsters

B.      The Storm Bell – Rang It

C.      The Storm Bell – Cracked It

D.      Deep One Hybrid Class

E.       Eagle Eyrie on Meridot’s Cay

F.       The Dead Cyclops Underwater at Hyomand Rock

G.     The Dead Cyclops Chained to Forlorn Island

H.      Halthrag’s Circle On Hyomand Rock

I.        Ifrit’s Pizzle, Drink Recipe and Spell

J.        JaleBeard, the Pirate Wizard Patron

K.      On Kelpies

L.       On Lesthirash, the Wasp God

M.    On Merfolk

N.     On Nixies

O.     The Orpiment Skull Magic Item

P.      Pendlebrook – A Pleasant Spot

Q.     Queen Leonora of Hamathrace

R.      Raiders of Rayloon

S.       Summon Tentacular Horror

T.       Tcho Tcho PC Class

U.     Ulfire Mistress Patron

V.      Vecnull’s Revenge (A ship, The Cyberlich’s Flagship)

W.    Wizardarium Gate to Calabraxis

X.      X The Mysterious (A Sage)

Y.       Yeoman’s Bow Magic item

Z.       Zither of Antipathy Magic Item



Raylooni Raiders (Albinos, Tall, Thin, Debased) – Stout Ships, Low Damage

Cyborg Corsairs – Very Stout Ships, Somewhat Damaging

Deep One Hybrid Pirates – Weak Ships, Weak Damage

Tcho Tcho

Tentacular Horrors

Ocean Sprites, Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic

Kelpie/Seaweed Folk

Pirahna Birds


Island Sprites




Nithan Knifeknot – Thief, Lawful, Level  2 (Bring 10,000 in Gold to Bad Guy on the West Edge of Aredeth Bay by Day 30 to rescue your beloved Kelani). Swimming and Diving Skills

Murlo – Fighter, Lawful, Level 2 (Destroy a 5-Headed Hydra on Forlorn Island, Day 30). Commander Skills.

Diego Panselfaust – Male Halfling, Neutral, Level 2 (Take an Immortal Bride by Day 30).  Ladykiller Skills

Holga Vohrnknicht – Female Dwarf, Neutral, Level 2 (Find a place for the Clan to Live – there are 2 acceptable spots 1 on , Day 30).  Stoneworker Skills.

Brother Emmerit Lutz – Cleric, Chaotic, Level 2 – Find a New Home for Temple of Lesthirash the Wasp God.  Lore Skills.  Sacrifice a Ship to the Whirlpool and Find the Location of the Wasp Temple.  25 Days

Yesorian, Wizard, Chaotic, Level  2 – Acquire the Rod of Undeath, 50 Days, or Die!  (Very difficult for a Wizard but fairly simple for a Thief!)


THIEVES FOR HIRE (Special Thiefly Rules; You may hire a thief on the crew of your boat, but each skill roll calls for d6xrate fees, and each thief can be killed by monsters in landing parties.  Some locks cannot be picked by NPC thieves )

Aram, Barjum, Blastin, Corexin, Duglash, Efrim, Odess, Pyotr, Alenk, Gyurtom, Hirelm, Inigo, Jakes, Melporine, Nidora, Olegh, Trendio

SPECIAL HIRELINGS (For example, as in Barbarian Prince)




A Robot

Familiars/Demons/Imps/Quasits (for example, Spellvexit)

Sailing/Supplies/Ship’s Crews/Landing Parties/Morale (based on Personality)


Random Treasure Entries are given with the expected roll of dice, 1d3-1d100 (with 0 as a possible result); some areas will increase the given +d for monsters and some will decrease 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The Entrance to the Omega Bunker

The little town of Rad, and The Entrance to The Omega Bunker

 Rad is a village of 100-200 people, mostly nuclear families. It earned its name after many generations of farming the local radish-like root crop that was originally bred to remove radiation from contaminated soil. The root also happens to concentrate and store chaotic magic in its cellular structure, although the unimaginative farmers of Rad don’t know it. Some of the other more enterprising and weird inhabitants do, though. Born “Radishers” (for thus they call themselves) often have low-level mental mutations and magic-using abilities. A few are detailed below.  (ed's note: Sorry - lost track of this part but maybe later)

 Rad is situated on the rim of a vast hole in the ground, some 50 meters wide and many hundreds of meters deep. The soil and earthy crust of the area covers the edges of the hole, upon which all manner of strange flora and fauna teem and reproduce. A few dozen meters below the rim, the earthen crust gives way to solid hyper-iridium walls covered with greebles and conduits and wires and sensors. Below that, a grated, meter-wide gantry clings to the circumference of the pit and spirals down at a steep angle. About halfway down the length of the pit, the gantry stops at a very solid-looking access hatch, complete with a formidable hatch-operating wheel. It is rusted, but with some lubricant, it will give way and provide access to the dungeon level within, but not before the party is accosted by 1d12 Stirges. All of the walls within are 8’ high, and except where noted, are made of slick molded aluminum. Imagine a dreary windowless office building, but more durable. If needed, bathrooms exist and might be a secure site for a long or short rest. Amazingly, electricity is available as is running water. Damage to the facility and infrastructure may negatively impact this.

 No one in Rad knows much about the facility below. Every so often a visitor to the town will take an interest and disappear within it but the villagers have developed a distinct lack of interest in the hole and its contents. They might be hired as guides and hirelings, but residents would probably not represent capable fighters – limited to torchbearers and porters. Capable men-at-arms would come from outside the immediate area

Please note, I have not provided a map for this area, only dungeon entries, which were mostly generated randomly and then I brushed them up with my brain and tied to tie them together semi-coherently

  1. An abandoned storage area, containing shelves of various unusable junk – printer parts, obsolete tablet computers with cracked screens, empty ball point pens, coffee-stained neckties etc. There is also an Insane Cyberbrain that exists on minimal power tucked behind the other gizmos. It needs a Vocoder unit to speak and some sensors to receive input in order for it to be interacted with. These may be scavenged from other robots, or the whole thing might be installed in a robot chassis provided one is available. Determine its personality at random, but it’s been left to itself for a long time. It won’t remember its name or anything about the dungeon but it will provide moral support and encouragement and may make a fun PC or NPC if supplied with a body.
  2. The party will encounter a Ghoul named Larry – the local janitor - here. He is pratically immortal and hungry for flesh, but will respond well to rations or slightly less enthusiastically if offered other foods. He will try to make friends and lure the party to nearby traps. He is at odds with the Wererats in room 12.
  3. This room is devoid of interesting features.
  4. This average-sized room includes a steamy Rejuventation Pool - drinking or bathing in it will Increase Gravity in the room, causing all occupants' physical saves, skill checks, and initiative to be at disadvantage since everyone counts as encumbered. Entering the pool will remove one level of Exhaustion.
  5. The room has a laser tripwire-activated shocking effect on the steel grate flooring, forcing a DC 15 Dexterity save or 1d6 electrical damage to the whole party. It may be avoided by stepping over the lasers which are at human knee-height. They are not readily detectible unless the lights are out in the room.
  6. There is a Giant Shocker Lizard and a switch relay in this room. The panel of switches controls the security door in the north wall. The switches must be activated by switching them all in the up position, which will signal a bell, and then switching them all to the down position which will open the door. Any other combination will activate the shocking floor mechanism which damages all occupants (not the lizard!) for 1d6 electrical.
  7. This room is devoid of interesting features.
  8. Graffiti here says Remember: 3 Up Then 3 Down in fluorescent green spray paint. (see room 6 above).
  9. There is a maggot-ridden body of a Cleric, holding a small bunch of wolfsbane. Its studded leather armor is intact. It has been gnawed on by Larry the Ghoul in room 2, but he didn’t finish because the body is slowly becoming green slime.
  10. The room has 6 patches of green slime. One patch will hold a functional laser pistol that can be salvaged and cleaned.
  11. This room is devoid of interesting features.
  12. There is a group of 3 Wererats, engaged in a complex religious ritual. They serve Orcus and are praying to him for guidance. They will feign friendship and turn on the party when the party has taken significant damage or losses.
  13. This room is devoid of interesting features.
  14. The room has clumps of edible purple mold.
  15. There are two “thrones” (fancy executive chairs) here - disturbing them in any way activates a Clay Golem. It is actually composed of plasticine modeling clay.
  16. The party can encounter a sentient Worg, here.
  17. There is a Infectious Constrictor Snake draped sleeping around a stylized iron maiden. Inside, clutched by a dusty skeleton , there is a Scroll of Ward against Lycanthropes.
  18. This room is devoid of interesting features.
  19. Mostly empty and clean, this room smells of rotten flesh.
  20. This is a food-supply store room, with d6 edible rations and d10 aluminum cans of potable water. There are also some glossy magazines of various topics (e.g. “Skimmers Today” and “Protein Enthusiasts’ Digest”)
  21. The room is coated with thick spider webs on all surfaces. Small spiders within may vocally object to the destruction of the webs, but they are only creepy nuisances. It will take 1d6 turns to remove the webs physically, or they may be lit on fire. When the webs are cleared away the skeletal body of a robed magic-user clutching a book will be discovered. The book contains 1d3 1st level and 1 2nd level Wizard spells. If the book has sustained fire damage, it will only hold “Nystul’s Magic Aura”.
  22. This room has a Bottled City on a pedestal. The bottle is guarded by 2 Vampire Spawns. Touching or gazing into the bottle necessitates a DC 15 Wisdom save, or the entire party will be transported to a small, gloomy, vampire-plagued village for what seems like a day, but will only be 2 turns in reality.
  23. A Thoqqua here wears a heat-proof iridium pendant, worth 700 gold coins. The creature’s melted slag burrow will lead down to a random room on the next dungeon level.
  24. This large gallery is actually a Hallway of Gates – there are 1d10 active portals to other adventures or dungeon levels intermixed with the 20 doors. Non-active gate-doors open into very brightly lit closets.
  25. This room is bare.
  26. There are 25 hyper-iridium ingots here, stored in 5 miltary-style aluminum gear crates. They are all trapped with poisoned needles in the handles – if they are examined first, then the needle mechanism will be evident, and they can be disarmed easily by removing the needles. Not checking first will cause the first person (and any other careless handlers) to be pricked and take the Poisoned condition.
  27. The fluorescent tube lights in this warehouse-sized room flicker on and off above a long stretch of office cubicles, complete with desks, paperclips, office supplies, and condescending motivational posters. There is also a mostly-empty Candwich vending machine. It contains 3 common Candwiches (PBJ/BBQ Pulled Pork equal chance) and 1 expired rare Candwich (make something cool up). Smashing the machine open will provide 1d6 gold coins. Each Candwich costs 2 gold pieces if bought the usual way.
  28. This average-sized manager’s office includes a stately and obscenely carved wooden “desk” which is really an Altar To Orcus. Donating money to the donation plate on top causes the dot-matrix printer in the altar’s base to print out a detailed paper map of this dungeon level.
  29. This room has a Matter Transmittal Pad that moves a user to the last place they long-rested that wasn’t in the dungeon. It’s a one-way trip.
  30. There are 950 GP here, stored in a sealed aluminum sarcophagus. The treasure is trapped with contact poison on the coins. The lid of the sarcophagus is off, and skeletal bodies of adventurers are littered around it, holding handfuls of coins. Wine, floor polish, detergent, or some other weak solvent will remove the contact poison, but water won’t.


Random Encounters:

1. Mi-Go Assistant Manager Squad (1d4+2) These will harangue PCs about timeliness, efficiency, billable hours, etc. If the PCs do not wear ties or show other signs of employment, the Mi-Go will shoot them with an HR-Indoctrination Ray. Make a Wisdom Save DC 15 - failure indicates that the PC adds "Office Worker" (1-3 on a d6) or "Facilities Maintenance" (4-6 on the d6) to their background, and also adds a Temporary Insanity Condition to follow facility rules and procedures and request time off in the appropriate manner, etc. etc. etc

2. Morlock Office Workers (1d4) These are standing around gossiping at the nearest source of drinkable water (healthy or otherwise). If the PCs show signs of employment, they will welcome 'new hires' and commit acts of hazing on them "Deliver this McGuffin to Sector 4, new guy!"

3. Facilities Maintenance Skeletons (1d3) Obviously engaged in simple repairs and upkeep, these mindlessly attack with oversized wrenches, mops, plungers if they are prevented from accomplishing their current task. Often use chunky floor buffers, leaky pressure washers, and low-intensity flame throwers as appropriate.  

4. Section Manager Zombies (1d3) Clipboards in hand, they toddle mindlessly through hallways and seem enraged that no-one is where they ought to be. Only the taste of fresh brains will ease their emotional pains

5. Paperwork Dragon (1 only, reroll if defeated) This beast wanders the halls of the complex, accumulating forms, documents, records, and the occasional spell scroll to add to its mass. Counts as a Young Black Dragon - the breath weapon is a high-velocity gout of stinging ink and shredded paper that is both caustic and sticky. Particularly vulnerable to fire, it will flee from open flames and fire-like spell effects, but will stalk the party at a distance hoping to outlast their fiery resources. If the party flees, the next random encounter will also be this monster and it will automatically have surprise.

6. A lone Mongrelman Office Clerk and their cart of documents - clearly in a hurry and also evidently as mystified by the layout of the dungeon as the party is, this Mongrelperson is a temp and thus not protected by company policies from harassment by its tenured coworkers. It will give up documents (possibly a spell scroll, Ancient Stone Tablet, or low-level spellbook) if the PC identifies itself as the rightful recipient. The Mongrelperson has no inclination to check PC identities in this matter, and indeed corporate policy does not require it to do so. Will hilariously agree to be taken on as a henchman/hireling but aside from its innate ability to mimic voices this NPC is fairly useless. He/she/it can be encountered more than once 



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